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 James Allen St. John  (c.1872 - 1957)

About: James Allen St. John
 

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Lived/Active: Illinois/California / France      Known for: pulp-fiction illustration-fantasy, early landscape painting

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BIOGRAPHY for James St. John
Facts/Data
Birth
c.1872 (Chicago, Illinois)
 
Death
1957 (Chicago, Illinois)

Lived/Active
Illinois/California / France

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pulp-fiction illustration-fantasy, early landscape painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
James Allen Saint John was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 1, 1872.  James was the son of artist Susan St John.  When quite  young he sailed to Paris with his mother to study at Academy Julian.  He arrived in California in 1887 and lived in the San Joaquin Valley where he further studied for three years with Joaquin Torrey and later studied at the Art Students League in New York. 

He became famous for illustrating Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan books.  He was professor of life drawing and illustration at the American Academy of Art before his death in Chicago on May 23, 1957. 

Exh: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1898, 1909, 1920; American Watercolor Society, 1898, 1901, 1902; Art Institute of Chicago, 1904-31; Panama-Pacific Int’l Expo (San Francisco), 1915; Chicago Galleries Ass’n, 1926, 1930; Businessmen’s Art Ass’n (Chicago), 1927; Century of Progress (Chicago), 1933.
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
City Directory; Census
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

Biography from Tweed Museum of Art:
J. Allen St. John
(American, NY 1872 - 1957)

Painted 1 Mountie subject in 1944.

J. Allen St. John was the oldest of all the Mountie artists.  Born in 1872, he spent several years in Paris (1883-86) with his mother, who was studying art there.   He studied at the Art Student's League in New York with William Merritt Chase, Harry Mowbray, J. Carrol Beckwith and Kenyon Cox, between 1897-1900.  In Paris between 1906-1908, St. John studied at the Academie Julian with Jean Paul Laurens, and in Holland with Henri Vierin.

By 1898 St. John was working as a commercial illustrator for the New York Herald, where he remained until around 1917.  St. John moved to Chicago around 1912, where he illustrated magazine covers, and began a long association with A. C. McClurg & Co., publisher of the Tarzan books by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  For two decades, St. John provided the illustrations for Burroughs' Tarzan books, while teaching at the Chicago Art Institute and the American Academy of Art.

Although he painted only one Mountie subject himself, St. John was a tremendous influence on many of the other Mountie artists.  Since he taught at the Chicago Art Institute between 1917 and 1935, it is likely that Hal Foster, Burne Hogarth, Paul Proehl and Studley Burroughs would have studied with him.

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